By Talya Adams
For a little over a month I’ve been trying out a navigation app called Waze. You may or may not have heard of this app, but I hadn’t, so I decided to give it a solid go. This app came highly recommended by a friend of mine who swears by it because she uses Waze to get to her catering jobs around town. I, too, like cutting down on my commute time in the city, so I figured why not?
After a month of use, I definitely have my opinions on Waze. I’ll start with the positives and move on to the negatives in order to give a full overview of what this app has to offer. Let’s get into it.
Waze is most popularly known for its ability to cut down significantly on travel time to your destination. The app also offers a number of potential routes to ensure the fastest route possible for your journey. I’ve noticed the roads they list are often streets that are less traveled and typically in residential neighborhoods as well.
While traveling these streets I often learn more about Los Angeles and the various neighborhoods I’m commuting through. My sense of direction has definitely improved because of Waze. The automated voice on the app is also loud and clear. It’s a female voice and she often pronounces the street names correctly as well. There are other voices to choose from, but many do not offer the street name feature.
Moving on to a few negatives in regard to Waze, I’d have to start with a criticism of the routes often suggested. A lot of times, it feels like I’m driving in a maze to get to my destination. I’ll give an example which leads into my next criticism – being directed to cross busy streets without traffic lights.
For example, I had to hop onto I-10 W to head towards Santa Monica. Waze had me get off Normandie to take a residential street named Ardmore to then cross Olympic to Ardmore on the other side, all in efforts to hop back onto Normandie farther north. It took me several minutes to attempt to cross Olympic, which never happened because traffic never settled enough on both sides in order for me to make the cross safely.
Instead, I ended up turning right and then making the left at a light up ahead, to then double back to jump onto Normandie to get to I-10 W. This wasted time and frustrated me.
Another problem I’ve had while using this app is that it freezes within the first four minutes of navigation on the route selected. This has happened every time I’ve used Waze. The freezing could be a bug which needs to be fixed by the manufacturers, but it’s definitely inconvenient when driving. I’ve had to pull over and restart the app every time this has happened.
So, would I suggest the Waze app for motorcyclists?
In my opinion, no. I say this because driving a motorcycle in Los Angeles already allows you to split lanes and navigate traffic when it’s at its worst. Waze takes you to your locations in a roundabout way, which may actually add to your travel time. However, I do think Waze is beneficial to commuters in cars. The sides streets which are less traveled allow cars to move uninhibited and actually beat traffic more often than not.
I hope you found my review of Waze helpful. Stay safe in these streets!